A quarter of this year's retirees say they plan to carry on working

Emma Woollacott
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28658bwn, 28658, bwn, bwn, business, women, cd144, 144, happy, mobilephone, talking, blue-eyes, holding, white, dedication, powe

Half of people reaching state pension age this year say they'd consider carrying on working in order to improve their financial position, and a quarter are already planning to do so.

Once upon a time, retirement meant a goodbye bash at work, the presentation of a new watch, and then a life of leisure. Now, though, research from Prudential shows that, instead, people are increasingly retiring in gradual stages.

More than a fifth of those planning to retire this year say they don't feel ready to stop work.

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A third of those who say they'd like to carry on say they'd like to cut down their hours with their current employer. One in eight say they would look for a new employer and 11% say they are happy to carry on working full time.

But it's not just financial reasons that keep people going: indeed, the most popular reason, cited by 57%, is to keep mentally and physically fit.

For 39% it's because they simply enjoy working, while 35% say they'd miss interacting with work colleagues. A third don't like the idea of being at home all the time and 23% say they'd miss having a daily routine.

"The old image of everyone giving up work aged 60 or 65 and becoming a pensioner is a thing of the past," says Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential.

"People are seeing the opportunity to stay at work full-time or in a period of 'pre-tirement' as an attractive one – whether it's to boost their pension pots or just to stay fit,
healthy and stimulated."

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However, not all of those that want to carry on working will get the chance to do so, separate research suggests. A report earlier this month from the charity Business in the Community found that more than a million people over 50 have been involuntarily pushed out of the workplace.

"There are a significant number of over 50s who would be willing to work if the right opportunity arose, but we are failing to harness their potential," says chief executive Stephen Howard.

However, even those that do intend to retire this year have plenty of plans to keep them busy. Three in ten say they want to further their education, with the same number planning voluntary work. Over a quarter say they'll join a club.

"The 'Class of 2015' are approaching their later years determined to improve their health, acquire new skills and enjoy themselves," says Russell.

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